Favourite genre of music: Anything except Country and Christian
Personal Quote: Better to ask for forgivness later than for permission first.
The Beginnings That Lie In ClosenessRemember when the flashlight
turned the palm into a canvas?
Brought it into the light
baring bones of fingers
smoothed of their joints,
like an x ray
of the earliest sketch of us,
like the osteal lines
of a neighborhood
beneath the moon
relegated to the idea of itself
as we turn to dreams;
it was around that time I recalled
how I was wrong about the waves
inside the shell,
they were behind my ear,
pouring through my veins
with the same eagerness
to rush, to hear
what they longed to hear.
A rough sketch
can be anything you want it to be,
a dissipating fog remembering
as it hugs you,
a light in the distance courting the eye.
To a Flame“Everybody ready?”
“Hell, no. I want to go home.”
“I didn’t ask where you’d rather be, Andrei. I want to know if your suit is sealed so you don’t give us away.”
Muted assent follows Don’s outburst. There’s no more banter. I wriggle forwards and bring my night-eyes online. Peering at the green and grey world about me, the side screen shows the infra-red view. We’re all part of the ambient heatscape. No hotspots.
Sylvia whispers: “Down there. Ten o’clock.”
A hotspot: walking quickly, shoulders hunched. Just a sensible citizen on their way home after a late night.
Don’s words focus us: “We’re on. Watch the low sky.”
‘Low sky’ is the space between buildings. What we seek doesn’t traverse open sky, or so we think. That’s one of the things this project was set up to prove.
When you’re looking to do interesting things with biotailoring, everyone looks
Wherever My GnomeWe’ve had kids stealing our garden gnomes for years. Some came back, some didn’t, and some sent me postcards, usually from Skegness or Blackpool. As years went by, those kids did well. Our wandering gnomes sent postcards from Ibiza and Goa.
The second generation of gnome-nickers went alternate. We got a card from Burning Man and an envelope from Rio containing a risqué selfie, featuring one of our gnomes, that made the wife blush.
I had an idea: I set up a Twitter account so our gnomes could ‘phone home’. I engraved the password on the bottom of each gnome. I’ve only had one idiot reset the password; the inhabitants of the Twitterverse tore him to pieces. Our wandering gnomes have built up quite a following.
Then ‘Ricky’, one of our veteran wanderers, disappeared. We heard nothing for months. The missus and I were beside ourselves. Losing one of our old boys was especially hard.
That Christmas Eve, my phone ‘cheeped’ – a
Who was I Before I was Born?
My mother was a dedicated single parent.
She did everything she could to keep me fed, clothed and in school; she worked two or three part-time jobs, sacrificing herself for me. I was raised on clothes from the thrift shop, Kraft Dinner and canned soup, and whatever novels my mother passed my way when she was done with them. We had a radio and a TV that maxed out at thirteen channels. Mum was good to me.
School was okay. For 12 years I was one of three students in the same class with the same first name who went to school together. For twelve years I was simply referred to as “D”, my last initial, by teachers and classmates.
It hurt. “D” wasn’t my name. The others weren’t letters. So, why was I?
I wasn’t popular. This could be because I was poor and came from a broken family. No one understood why I didn’t have new clothes, toys or games; divorce, disease or death hadn’t touched my classmates or their famil
CacophonyAnd the cacophony inside my cranium
Carries catastrophic cadenzas
Clouded in Chaos,
Cloaked in cadential release.
Carelessly clinging onto half-diminished chords.
Bad NeighboursJohn trundles the pallet truck toward the ramp.
“A few of us acquired some things from Centra Medico on your behalf. Doesn’t seem right, just throwing you out.”
He smiles and I hope my embarrassment doesn’t show. ‘Civil war’ is a misnomer. It can be rude and brutal. But, despite the rabble-rousing and the hatred, good people remember that today’s enemies were yesterday’s neighbours, friends, and family.
Seven hundred colonies seceded from the Pax Centra, choosing to make their own way into the great unknown in a loose alliance devoid of big power blocs. After many weeks of negotiation and sporadic violence, it was decided that both sides would repatriate those who wished it and subsequently adopt a peaceful hands-off policy for six Earth months before returning to the negotiating table.
He smiles: “You understand I can’t stay, the Pax Police are keeping watch on any who come near you Free700 folk. Good luck.” He parks th
Dragon Sickness (Short Story) When a dragon gets sick, no one is happy.
This was a truth that Adeline learned when Nicklaus slouched into the recliner and glared at everyone who dared come within three feet of him. Except Sugar Bear: the fourteen-year-old grey shorthair had found a new lounging spot in the dragon’s lap. Otherwise, he glared at everything that moved, especially Basile, who had begun the game of “How Annoying Can I Be Before the Dragon Eats My Head Off?”
Nicklaus didn’t say a word. He glared while his hand slowly ran along Sugar Bear’s spine. It was Cade who came to Adeline after the third day of Nicklaus’s moodiness. He fiddled around the kitchen as she glared at a pot of pasta until she finally turned her glare towards him. “What?”
“I think Nicklaus is sick.”
About TimeThe laboratory is filled with the sound of slow drops landing. The smell alone is enough to drive three officers back. Seeing the mess does for the next five. Officer number nine moves his torch in slow arcs, picking only edges and highlights from the sanguine layer covering everything.
On his third pass, he sees movement.
“No. The mess was him. I’m Peter Luan.”
“What are you doing here?”
“I was invited. Do you have your witness app?”
“Activate it. I need to get this down before it fades.”
“No, what he said before,” Peter waves a blood-covered arm about, “this.”
“Very well. Citizen, you’re about to make a legally admissible declar-”
“I know. Witness running?”
“Last night, Professor Gregory Pane invited me to witness a ‘demonstration of concept’ as to why our eight years